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Sexual Abuse and the Catholic Church

James F. Humphreys & Associates, L.C. has represented victims injured by the wrongful misconduct of others for more than 40 years. Although many of our cases involve physical injuries, we know that emotional scars can be just as devastating, and that sexual abuse by trusted adults can adversely affect children for the rest of their lives.  

The Roman Catholic Church has repeatedly been rocked by scandals involving the sexual abuse of children, usually boys, by its clergy. In 1985, a Lousiana priest plead guilty to 11 counts of molestation; in the 1990s several books were published on this subject; and in 2002, the Boston Globe published a series of articles about sexual abuse in the church. More recently, in 2018, a Pennsylvania grand jury issued an 884-page report alleging that there were more than 1,000 identifiable victims of child sexual abuse by more than 300 priests in Pennsylvania, and likely thousands more victims. According to this report, the Church followed a “playbook for concealing the truth.” Other sources have accused the church of moving perpetrators to other locations, failing to report crimes to the police, and covering up the problem. 

In many cases, the victims were unable to obtain compensation because the statute of limitations had run. According to Child USA, the average age when sexual abuse victims come forward is 52, long after the time for filing a lawsuit.   

In recent years, however, many states, including New York and New Jersey, have enacted laws which extend the time for filing sexual abuse lawsuits. In some cases, these statutes provide limited windows of one or two years in which to bring claims that would otherwise be time-barred. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured by church-related sexual abuse, you should promptly contact legal counsel to see whether you might be entitled to compensation.  

If you or a loved one has been sexually abused as a member of the Roman Catholic Church, please call us at 304-347-505 (local) or 877-341-2595 (toll-free) for a free initial consultation. You may also contact us online. We allow a victim to achieve financial compensation without publicity or confronting lawyers and the diocese.

Toll Free: +1 (877) 341-2595

Email: [email protected]

Sources

Carter Sherman, August 13, 2019, A tidal wave of sex abuse lawsuits is about to hit New York, https://www.vice.com/…/a-tidal-wave-of-sex-abuse-lawsuits-is-about-to-hit… 

Child USA, Child Sex Abuse Statistics for Statutes of Limitation, https://www.childusa.org/sol